Fast Five Quiz: Can You Identify the Source of and Properly Treat Back Pain?

John K. Hsiang, MD, PhD


September 30, 2014

The pathophysiology of spinal stenosis is related to cord dysfunction elicited by a combination of mechanical compression and degenerative instability. With aging, the intervertebral disk degenerates and collapses, leading to spur formation. This most commonly occurs at C5-6 and C6-7. A relative decrease in spinal motion occurs at these levels, with a concomitant increase in spinal motion at C3-4 and C4-5. The spine responds to physiologic stresses with bone growth at the superior and inferior margins of the vertebral body (osteophytes).

For more on the pathophysiology of spinal stenosis, read here.


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